The question of whether or not people should be forced into driving smaller cars with engines that emit less pollutants is one that is likely to be debated for quite some time. Many believe that it is their "right" to drive whatever kind of car they want as long as they are willing to pay for it, while others believe that it is their "right" to breathe less polluted air. Granted, cars do not make up the majority of all pollution or greenhouse gases, but they do add to the problem. Obviously, sweeping changes have been and must continue to be made to all facets of the problem; cars, factories and the rest of the gang should all be treated equally. But, the results of the pollution that each of these industries contribute to the air we breathe is not in question.
Take for instance the town of Alvin, California. This is a quiet town with almost no pollution-generating factories and little in the way of traffic from its 15,000 residents. However, the area has the unlucky distinction of being downwind of several large metropolitan areas, and its surrounding mountains trap the air in place, giving this city the dubious honor of having the worst air quality of anywhere in the United States.
This story reminds me of the debate that is brought up regarding our environment. Are we ruining the earth for our grandchildren, just as others are seemingly ruining the air quality for the residents of Alvin?